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Will the real Pilsner please stand up?

May 12, 2010

Virtually everyone knows that lager is the biggest selling beer in the world ever since taking the Universe by storm all those years ago. This ubiquity, particularly of cheap, mass-produced products that all taste the same (and popular with the masses) means lager is generally not highly regarded amongst beer snobs. Sick of all those Euro lagers all made under licence in Auckland with added sugar and boring hops yet?

In this context, it’s easy to forget just how damn amazing original Czech Pilsner really is. Yes, I’m talking about Pilsner Urquell and Budweiser Budvar! While all the imitators are obviously from a similar genre, there really is nothing that compares to the originals. It hits you as soon as you take the first sip and it’s like your taste buds tasting beer again for the first time after years of over use. And yet these aren’t novel and therefore particularly interesting flavours – rather they’re extremely well-balanced and display distinctive Czech flavours with their floral Saaz hops and sweet, Moravian barley.

For my money Budvar it just that little bit more balanced than Urquell and not much else compares to coming home on a hot Friday evening in summer and chopping several of these green babies! Of course it doesn’t hurt that they were on a multi-week special for $11 a six-pack. Anyway, rather than bore you with beer history that you’ve probably already heard – I simply implore you to go forth and spread the word about the real Pilsner!

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